How do I exorcise my rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sevenbabychicks, May 19, 2011.

  1. sevenbabychicks

    sevenbabychicks Songster

    Sep 9, 2010
    Saint Paul, MN
    Hi all,

    No, that is not a misspelling. My rooster actually seems like he's possessed by some sort of evil force.
    He used to be just the nicest chicken ever, my favorite of the flock. When he was younger and I had them inside, he'd figure out how to get out of his pen in the morning and come upstairs where I'd find him perching on my bedside table when I woke up. Then he'd do his little practice crow and lead me downstairs to feed everyone. He enjoyed being carried around and would jump up on peoples' laps for pettings and naps. He would crow, but not excessively.

    Fast forward 6 months. He is quick to attack anything he doesn't recognize - this includes my houseguests, buckets, and me in my unfamiliar spring clothes. Today I tried wearing sandals and a skirt, and he did NOT like that, trying repeatedly to sever my legs with his talons. He has also expressed his distaste of my running shoes and shorts. Once I "convince" him that I am me, he will calm down a little and will stop attempting to kill my feet, but this is getting more and more difficult. It's like he has Alzheimer's or something! He also will crow nonstop when I have friends over or even when he hears me talking on the phone.

    What's happening to my rooster?? Does anyone know of any tricks to placate an ornery roo (aside from cooking him)? I'd like to keep him if at all possible. He's just so pretty and excellent with the hens; he's great at keeping them rounded up and finding them the best nesting sites. Please help!

    Here's a pic of him from this winter. Look at that tail! He's an Andalusian, btw [​IMG]


  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy Premium Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
    It's called testosterone overload. It's worse in the young and in the spring. I have the same problem with a WCP roo and also hate to have to eat him! I am trying to ignore him and so far it has helped. I run him off whenever he gets within a few feet of me. No more petting and loving that one! Let him be a roo or get rid of him. It's sad, but good roos are hard to find...
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Songster

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    I think the best way to exorcise him is to exercise him. He is trying to be Alpha Rooster. You need to be Alpha and make him Beta. Take a look at my Handling Rooster Aggression page.

    First you must get his attention. Chicken jail or holding & petting will shock down his status. Then you keep him Beta by speed-walking after him for a few minutes for a few days. This stalking method is very intimidating to a prey species. He will get the message that he is not Number One.

    This allows the rooster to continue to live as a rooster, doing his roosterly duties. And it allows you to function around him without undue drama. My rooster stays deferential and keeps a respectful distance with me, but is an excellent rooster to his girls. Yours can too.

    Of course, the stew pot is always an option, and should be strongly considered if the birds is a threat to children or other adults who do not practice rooster stalking.
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    What's happening to my rooster??

    He has reached sexual maturity and has finally remembered that he is a male....and decidedly NOT human. There are many ways to change his attitude towards you and you will find them in the millions of threads on the very same subject. There is a very helpful article on the web~can't find it at the moment~about the effects of hand-rearing infant male livestock.

    In the end it really depends on just how strong you wish to be in the taming of this roo...only with an adjustment of your own attitude about this bird's place in the henyard will you be able to teach him how to react to you. Some folks are never successful at implementing this change and prefer to rehome said roo and try and find one that has been raised properly. Next hand feeding, no petting and coddling. There is always the exception to the rule but you will turn out a more well adjusted roo if you do not confuse him as to species and gender when he is a chick. Treat him like the eventual flock leader he will be and leave all the petting and coddling to the pullets. [​IMG]
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am guessing he was hand raised. Therefore part of what you are seeing relates to imprinting. He may consider himself and humans to be the same so he feels free to strut his stuff and be aggressive towards humans. The pecking of the feeding bucket is something I see with all my hand raised games and sometimes with those that are hen raised. They have learned it contains food and the "attack" directed towards the bucket is part of process they use to get food out. My birds, male and female, when hungry look for feed conntainers (2.5-gal buckets) and attempt to knock them over, sometimes with success.

    Some of the aggressiveness may also a function of breed. When I raise a cohort of American games and American domminiques, it this latter that as adults that direct aggression towards me. My California greys and Rhode Island Reds of past years even worse.

    Distinction made between hen raised, brooder raised and hand raised. Hand raised is where birds consider me to be the moma, bond extremely strong. Brooder raised is like an orphanage where I am just the cook and janitor, no bond established. Hen raised I can be considered anywhere from a friend of mama that helps find food to a big monster, so friend or foe possible.
  6. Sorin

    Sorin Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    Glenfield, ny
    There are many methods people use for taming a rooster or keeping him in check. This is the one I use and I have had great success, here is the link

    know this method is not for everyone, but it works for me and I have helped other people using this method. It has nothing to do with dominance, it's more about proving to the Roo that you are not competition. Like centrarchid said, he thinks you and he are the same, so you have to change that thinking. But, sometimes there are just nasty roosters who need to go, and if I ever had one I couldn't rehabilitate in a week or so, he would be gone.
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  7. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Good luck with that.... Usually once they turn mean like that there is no taming them down. I have had a few in the years I have kept chickens and I still have the scars.... One thing I used for my own protection when I was outside with the mean roo was a big foam pool noodle. The rooster would come running for me and I'd break out the noodle and swing it around to scare him off. My mean roos had to be rehomed with full disclosure of their bad behavior. I drew the line when they went after my nephew.

  8. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    I think a frying pan or crock pot is the best way to exorcise him. [​IMG]
  9. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    BTW, he looks more minorca than andalusian... just sayin'.
  10. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I have hundreds of birds and I've never had one stay like that for more than a minute. I pick them up and hold them and assert that I'm not a threat or competition and the more they protest, the more attention they get. It's a pretty quick turnaround, and I'm happy that loving on them seems to do the trick. It woud make me sad to think I'd have to be mean.

    I'm delighted to have lots of nice roos. I hope it works out for you.

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